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Old 22-09-2011, 10:46 PM
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pgc hunter
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Renmark, SA
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Top idea Paddy, no doubt it'll help many other observers aswell

Some tips for getting the best out of limit-of-vision objects as requested:

- if possible, seek out your targets in the early morning hours.... not only because light pollution will be at a minimum as business are closed, vehicle traffic is at a minimum and most people are long asleep, but you'll have been dark adapted for several hours already (if you started observing in the evening).

-use a dark shroud over your head and keep both eyes open, covering the unused eye with your hand. You'll avoid the discomfort which occurs from unnaturally squeezing one eye closed for long periods and the associated eyestrain which will result. Works wonders and really helps with visibility of faint objects. I live by this.

-Jiggling the scope may help spotting faint low surface brightness objects.

-take a break every couple of hours and have a snack/drink.. keeps you alert and full so you won't have distracting thoughts of a midnight maccas run Taking regular snack breaks helps you relax and relieve any eyestrain etc and allows you to hit the next object refreshed and invigorated.

-use magnification...if seeing is good, high power is your friend. It darkens background sky so increases contrast of faint galaxies and stellar objects. Recently, my best views of Neptune's moon Triton and Uranus's moons was at 600x with an 8" scope. Ofcourse, experiment and find out what works best for you.

-Study the FOV for several minutes...if something is really at the limit of vision and popping in and out of sight, verify that it is not "averted imagination" by observing the field intensely, noting each time the object "pops" into view it is in the same location using nearby stars/objects. If you get that dust mote sighted 5-10 times and each time it correlates to its correct position relative to nearby objects.... that to me is a hit.

-no booze! I'm normally the last person on earth to knock back grog....but it stuffs with your night vision, body temperature, makes you tired and lose concentration and you just won't be at 100% if you're a bit tipsy

Last edited by pgc hunter; 23-09-2011 at 11:05 AM.
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